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The off season is officially underway with the winter testing ban in place, lifting in February.
The first of December saw the off season testing ban set in, World Championship teams and riders settling into their first proper break of the year. Racing and work with the contracted riders may have halted, but factories and workshops will continue to work on the 2016 bikes in house during the two month testing ban. The Repsol Honda team and the Ducati factory had their last on track run in Jerez alongside Aprilia while Suzuki had a final test in Sepang. Yamaha did not elect to run another test after Valencia.
On track action for the premier class resumes on the first of February in Sepang for a three day test. This is the only official test taking place at the Sepang International Circuit for the MotoGP™ World Championship before the season starts as Phillip Island and Losail will host the additional tests. Testing at three different circuits allows the teams and riders to experience a wider variety of surfaces and corner types, thus gathering more data.
Sepang looks set to be the debut of the new Aprilia, the Ducati GP16 and the first public appearance of the 2016 Suzuki GSX-RR, now featuring a seamless shift gearbox. From Malaysia, MotoGP™ teams and riders will head to Australia for three days at Phillip Island from the 17th to 19th of February. All of these tests will also be important for Michelin who become the exclusive tyre supplier to the MotoGP™ World Championship in 2016.
After the first two tests, the premier class head to Qatar from the second to fourth of March for their final official test before the 2016 MotoGP™ World Championship begins in Losail on the 17th of March.
While the premier class are in Qatar, the Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championship riders will be in Jerez from the second to fourth of March for their first test in 2016. They will then head to Qatar for three more days of testing, from the 11th to 13th of March ahead of the first race.
Throughout this period development work will continue with official test riders as teams and factories aim to prepare fully for the 2016 battle. Riders will also be working hard on testing and improving their personal fitness in order to push from FP1 at the Qatar GP.
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